by James Zandstra, J.D.
What is personalized learning? It’s a performance development approach in which content, objectives, methods, and tools are customized for each specific learner. An individual’s learning program is driven by their abilities, interests, and goals; they have control over (and responsibility for) their developmental destiny.
Personalized learning is not new; in fact, it predates the classroom. For centuries, apprentices have learned from experts on subjects ranging from carpentry to philosophy. However, with the advent of modern technology and the ongoing development of artificial intelligence (AI), personalized learning can be done on a much larger scale. Faced with increased global competition, massive upskilling and reskilling demands, and the rush to work from home, organizations should look closely at implementing personalized learning strategies. Here are a few reasons why personalized learning is a great way to drive your business forward.
Personalized Learning Drives Engagement
How critical is employee engagement? Every year, more than $500 billion is lost due to a lack of employee engagement. Keeping employees engaged is a complicated issue that organizations have struggled with for a long time. However, personalized learning may provide a path forward as it creates a learner-centric culture that drives employee engagement.
With personalized learning, each individual has their custom learning path, making them active participants in their development. As a result, learning becomes something they seek out to fulfill their professional goals, rather than a task being pushed on them. With a personalized approach, learners have specific courses assigned based on their needs. However, they also receive suggestions about which content they can engage with next, allowing employees to choose which direction they take. Learners can also choose the format in which they learn. Some learners thrive in simulations, while others prefer more traditional instruction. AI-guided learning is tailored to each learners’ needs and preferences.
Personalized Learning Helps You Attract and Retain Talent
According to a recent study, 21% of millennials have changed jobs in the last year, but that doesn’t mean they wanted to: 86% say they would stay at an organization that invests in their professional development. Turnover is costly, but organizations with personalized developmental plans have the tools to attract and retain talent.
The need for personalized learning isn’t limited to millennials. Every day we are bombarded by highly personalized content from companies like Google and Facebook. We have been conditioned to tune out information that is not directly relevant to our needs, goals, or preferences. Learning programs that fail to personalize are much more likely to be tuned out, leading to a workforce that does not feel like their employer has invested in their development.
We are also accustomed to receiving constant feedback. Feedback makes us feel valued and provides a sense of security. Most personalized online learning programs offer regular feedback. As the learner progresses, they get to see exactly how they performed. Data is collected, and leaders can use that information to create a more personalized approach to coaching.
Personalized Learning has Impact
Finally, personalized learning has a more significant impact than more standardized approaches. Not only does it fit well with powerful learning tools like microlearning and mobile-based learning, but it also eliminates material extraneous to a learner’s individual needs. Efficiencies are created by removing redundant content. Employees require less time to become positive contributors to their organization. Ultimately, this approach can lead to a positive impact on an organization’s bottom line.
It’s an exciting time for personalized learning in the workplace. Technological advances have allowed us further to tailor performance development programs to peoples’ individual needs. As a result, employees are better positioned to stay ahead in an increasingly global marketplace and be more satisfied with their work. These personalized learning journeys will boost the performance of your employees – and the success of your business.